Reviews Search


Kilowatthours' debutalbum is a solid set that should please rock fans of all persuasions.Something like emo-pop that dabbles in post-rock, theirs is a stream ofsound with a gentle drift, deliberately channeled so that even at theirnoisiest, the songs are still melodic and sensitive. Tracks like"Kayla," "Run Home," and "Elipses" follow the tradition of dark pop ala Bob Mould: energetic rock with a sparkling sharp edge. Other songsvary in their inclination. Opening the album, "That You All Played"starts off with orchestral ambience soon brightened by a repeated lickand then a surge of warm guitars. Even when the song really starts tochurn, the grind is flavored by a mellow sweetness. "Strain of PositiveThinking" begins like a more hopeful Red House Painters with hushed,overlapping vocals, and bursts into a thundering wave of guitars andcymbals. A paradoxically playful and hopeless cover of "Candy Says"stays fairly faithful to the original version, though it turns theringing guitar arpeggios of the first into a twisting music box tinkle.Guitarist Chris Renn's dissonant off-key vocals are an affectionateparody of Doug Yule's ever sharpening pitch on the Velvet Undergroundrecording. Though the overall production is clear, it can sometimesseem a little flat, with vocals frequently buried in the background.Another complaint is that the Kilowatthours' carefully constructedsongs can sometimes seem a little restrained. Still, more intricaciesbecome audible with every listen, and it's hard not to admire theamount of conscious control with which Kilowatthours has apparentlyshaped its songs.